One of the most recurring characters in early '80s toy commercials seemed to be the "goofy dad." He was used in a couple different ways but the obvious ploy by toy companies was to get parents involved in playtime. While most commercials showed kids playing and interacting with the featured toys, goofy dad was always lurking to join in the fun.
Goofy dad would sometimes be directly involved with the kids and their playtime in the commercial, often playing the bad guy. Other times, kids would disrupt goofy dad's normal routine of trying to read the evening newspaper or exercising on the stationery bike. When it came to board games, it was always goofy dad who would play the loser, overreacting to his battleship being sunk or toppling over the Jenga tower.
My first notion (as a dad now) would be to take offense when rediscovering these toy commercials. Why was it always the dad that was the bird brain? But if I truly think about how I've played with my kids over the years, the goofy dad character is probably accurate. I don't mind playing the bad guy or losing a board game if it means bringing a smile to my kid's face.
Check out some of the goofy dads I've found in early '80s toy commercials. If you remember any others, please leave a link in the comments!